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>> this morning we remember those lost. >> they had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings. >> and ask why. >> this was not god's plan. this was a man who has serious issues in his life. >> and now as america grieves, how should our leaders respond? what can all of us do to stop this senseless violence? >> we will find a way to heal. >> we'll get to the heart of those questions right now. >> announcer: from abc news, this is a special edition of "this week" with george stephanopoulos. "tragedy at the elementary school." reporting from newtown, connecticut, george stephanopoulos. and good morning from the library at newtown middle school. this is where the 20 children killed at sandy hook elementary would have continued to learn and grow. just down the road from newtown high school where president obama will come tonight to comfort the families, thank the first responders and console the community still in shock. the heartbreak here is magnified by the age of almost all the victims, little children, 6 and
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7 years old, all in just the first grade. overnight the shooter's father, peter lanza, released his first public statement. "we are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. we too are asking why." and this morning america is honoring the victims. today every nfl team will observe a moment of silence before the games. the giants and patriots will wear special decals on their helmets. our guests and experts are standing by for a conversation on what happened and why to cuss what it means to take meaningful action, that's president obama's phrase and a shattering moment of mindlessness. the latest on the investigation, brian ross our chief investigative correspondent and, brian, investigators are beginning to piece together what happened in that terrifying ten minutes in the school. >> that's right, george, they say they are making good progress in knowing much of the how, although less of the why of the stunning crime. in particular, they are focusing on the weapons used, there were
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three weapons recovered, two handguns and a semiautomatic assault-style rifle that authorities believe was owned actually by adam lanza's mother, nancy. her friends say she was a gun enthusiast who bought the weapons for self-defense when she was divorced and lived in a large home by herself and often took her sons, her friends say, to a nearby firing range for target practice. >> so they confirm that the weapons belonged to her, but there had also been some reports, at least one in the "l.a. times" that the shooter may have tried to buy a weapon recently. >> our reporting doesn't confirm that, and the fact is in connecticut, there is a waiting period to buy any weapon. you need a permit to buy a handgun, not a long rifle, but even so there is a waiting period, and if there was an attempt to buy one in a short period of time, that wouldn't work. >> there had also been some information earlier that the shooter's mom may have had some connection to sandy hook, may
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have been a substitute teacher or a volunteer there, but the superintendent has said that is not the case. do we have any better idea of why adam lanza chose this school? >> well, the superintendent has said that the mother, nancy lanza, did not work there, she was not a teacher, but her relatives say she did volunteer as a teacher's aide at sandy hook apparently around the same time that adam was a student there. he was a troubled young man, according to friends, and according to relatives, nancy had many issues with the school district about how they were treating him and handling his particular special needs, so it may have been a source of conflict, and at one point according to the aunt of adam, the mother pulled adam out of the public school system and home-schooled him because of her unhappiness with the way he was being treated at school. >> and the police also spent an awful lot of time at the home which is also a crime scene for
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where the mother was murdered. what else have they been able to find inside that home? >> well, they say they have made good progress from evidence found in the home unspecified as to the why and the motive. we don't know if that means we don't know if there was a note or some sort of a video, but they say they are making progress in determining a motive here that was involved in which, you know, he started the day by shooting his mother and then drove about ten minutes to the school. so he had a very determined mission in his head when he started that day friday. >> i saw one report that the hard drive, the hard drive of his computer at his home had been broken. is that true? >> we haven't been able to confirm that. there are a number of reports. the police say they're purposely keeping a lot of things close to the vest as they put together a full picture. the best information really about adam and his background comes from former classmates who attended school with him and say he was awkward and socially very ill at ease around people, didn't like to be talked to.
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he was a member of the tech club at his high school. friends say he was very bright, very smart, but withdrawn. >> but the mystery still why he did this. >> that remains a serious question. there seems to be some connection, at least in his twisted way of thinking, that put him on that path, but it's not certain yet just what that was, george. >> okay, brian ross, thanks very much. and as we said earlier, so many americans joining in to honor and remember those lost on friday and this whole community. on "saturday night live" last night a children's choir sang "silent night." ♪ silent night holy night ♪ all is calm all is bright >> and here in newtown a continuous vigil as a community continues to come together in prayers and tears and juju chang
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is at st. rose of lima church this morning. >> reporter: good morning, george. the second mass is already under way at st. rose and the outpouring is so staggering, state troopers have to control the flow. people are coming together to express condolences, come together as a community and to ponder those questions to which there are never easy answers like how does a gunman slaughter such innocents, all this while more photos, images are emerging of lives cut short, snapshots, if you will. 20 children who died in that those 2 classrooms, all 6 or 7, and of them 9 left behind siblings. robby parker spoke poignantly at st. rose church about his daughter emilie who left behind two grieving parents and two little sisters. >> she was an exceptional artist and always carried around her
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markers and pencils so she never missed an opportunity to draw a picture or make a card and was a mentor to her two little sisters and delighted in teaching them to read, dance and the simple pleasures in life. >> reporter: of the six adults who died at that school, we're hearing about acts of heroism. the principal died after confronting the gunman and we heard of one teacher, vicki soto, who shielded some of her children by hiding them in a closet and by protecting the other children literally with her body. she lost her life that day. monsignor robert weiss is the priest here and has been planning masses for the congregants. we learned from church officials there will be eight funerals here for eight children, eight families devastated but it's not just this church, there are houses of worship around this community that are comforting those who have lost their innocence in a way here. there are makeshift memorials popping up not just with candles
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and flowers but childlike objects, a soccer ball signed by the newtown soccer club or little teddy bears that a 6 or 7-year-old would take to bed or signs that say hug a teacher today or sleep in evanly peace. there are four masses planned at this church and one final sad footnote on each and every one of those aisle there is a box of kleenex waiting for the outpouring of tears. >> okay, juju, thanks very much. more now from the elected officials i'm joined by the governor of connecticut, dan malloy. i know you have been going around the clock from the very beginning of this. down from here meeting with those families shattered right now down to the firehouse. >> yeah, you know, it's -- those of us in connecticut have seen this play out in other states and other nations, and we always thank god it wasn't in our community or in our state, and obviously when something like this happens, it's a gigantic shock for everyone.
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we have spouses having been lost, daughters, sons, the damage done to the community, as well as obviously to those families is pretty staggering. >> i know you had to tell some of the parents the worst possible news that their child had died. >> friday it was clear to me that there was a reluctance to speak to the families, but it was also clear to me we knew everything we needed to know at that point, so it fell upon my shoulders to inform the family of what had transpired and that their loved one wouldn't be joining them again, and it was a tough, tough time. >> we also -- as juju just reminded us -- are hearing stories of real bravery, the principal dawn hochsprung and the psychologist mary sherlach both charging. >> it's an extraordinary set of stories, what happened.
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of this crime and yet people doing everything in their power to protect children. i spent a lot of time with the teacher soto's dad who actually works -- >> vicki soto. >> yeah, works for the state of connecticut, and there was as those details were breaking, there was a sense of pride, but obviously profound loss that she tried to shield children from the effects of those gun rounds. >> what more can the state do for this community right now? >> we're doing everything we can, and i've made it perfectly clear from the moment that we were notified that whatever resources are necessary, to help the community restore itself as quickly as possible including helping with the school building, working with other communities to make sure that there's enough classrooms, there will be a great number of funerals. we have assets ready, state troopers, other police
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departments, anything they need, quite frankly. i think the first has done a tremendous job, the police chief is performing at high standards, a small department in a small community. they need help, and we'll give it. >> you're helping, as you just said, the police chief. what can you share? it seems like this man had a pretty committed plan. >> he shot his way into the school. the school was locked. he used a weapon to open up the glass and then -- >> he blasted right through it. >> with several rounds -- a number of rounds. he discharged to make an opening and then went through it, went to the first classroom, as you know, went to the second classroom. we surmise that it was during the second classroom episode that he heard responders coming and apparently at that decided to take his own life. >> and the response was pretty
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quick, within ten minutes. >> it was to the best of my knowledge pretty quick from the time that the call was made and the call of the first call we believe was made by one of the people in the office that was injured, but will recover, and then obviously additional calls were made after that. but, you know, this sick fellow, you know, clearly mentally ill, killed his mother, proceeded to go on and kill a great number of people. >> you know, i know you've had to deal with emotional issues in your own family, and there's some statistics i've seen, connecticut's mental health system provides coverage for less than one in five connecticut residents. is there anything more that can or should be done to address these young men driven by demons? >> well, actually, i'm not sure which statistics you're using, but we have actually started a
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program well ahead of changes to the national medicaid policy so we actually have 83,000 people covered in our state who wouldn't be covered in any other state right now. it's an expensive proposition, as you might imagine. we also do put a great deal of credence and importance, i should say, on mental health. i think our country needs to step it up quite a bit in that regard. we need to reach out to families that are in crisis, and it appears that there was a crisis in this family. they need to know there were resources. having said that all, the family had the resources personally to handle the situation by all appearances. but, you know, these are difficult issues. i think our nation needs to take a very different approach to mental health, and we need to speak about it more honestly just as we need to do other things. >> and, finally, president obama coming to newtown tonight. what does the community here want to hear from him?
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>> well, i think an expression by the president of the united states that he understands the difficulty that this community is going through is, i think, greatly appreciated by the community. i think what motivates the president is his desire to touch the family members who want to have that conversation, who want to be assured that the president of the united states understands that the pain that they're suffering from, and i suppose that there will be questions in that session with those parents or those siblings, but a level of reassurance that they'll get from the very highest office in our nation. >> governor dan malloy, thank you very much. >> thank you. let me turn now to senator richard blumenthal and also -- senator-elect and congressman chris murphy here with us. senator blumenthal, you spent last of the 48 hours here. >> i spent a good part of the last two days in this community and i must, first of all, give
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me thanks to the governor for his strength and determination but also to the community which has really come together and demonstrated a kind of fiber and faith that is remarkable. i spent time in this community before and always been impressed by the real links and bonds, the people you know and the ambulance and fire department are largely volunteer, so that many of the heroic stories here are about volunteers coming forward and trying to deal with this searing, almost unbearable pain that so many feel knowing the families, knowing the victims and, of course, as a parent myself, four children, i can really have some sense of what they are going through. >> and, congressman, this is in your district. you've been representing it for many years and i've seen this in the last couple of days. this is a community that is tightly tied together talking to monsignor weiss.
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he had baptized many of t children in that town. >> you want to talk about newtown. labor day parade that's the pride of this community that runs through main street every year, and every single school and community group plans the entire year to be part of that celebration of america. it's a small town, a very tightly-knit town, a town that grieves probably a little deeper because of this incident, because of everyone that was taken was within a few square miles of each other. it will be more difficult but a town that can be rebuild because its faith is so strong and because its ties to each other are so strong. there have been miracles that happened every day since the tragedy hit and points the way towards the way because of newtown because of its close-knit structure can heal. >> the schools here will be closed tomorrow. what is the step-by-step process going forward after that? >> well, i think that's going to be a consultation with the first select woman and the board of education. i think it's important for students and for faculty to be
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able to process this together, and so i think there is a need for this community to get back to some semblance of a schedule. but each individual faculty member and each individual student, families will take their own time so i think we are still 48 hours out from this incident trying to figure out how to think about it, never mind the step-by-step process of grieving and reconstructing the community. it will take a while. >> senator, i know that you as we move on want to begin a conversation in the senate about how the country can come together to address this violence. >> you know, i come to this issue with a background of almost 30 years in law enforcement, both criminal -- >> attorney general. >> -- and civil, as a united states attorney and chief federal prosecutor and 20 years as attorney general, and i'm hearing from the community, as well as my colleagues in law enforcement, we need to do something, and i'm hearing from my colleagues in
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the senate around the country, some in states like wisconsin and colorado where there have been similar horrific, horrible tragedies, maybe not involving children with this kind of incomprehensible kind of circumstance, but we need to do something at the very least perhaps about the high capacity magazines that were used in this crime but, of course, the investigation here is continuing, and we'll learn more, and out of respect to the families and their grief, at this point i'm not going to be more specific about that conversation, but certainly this horrible episode and incident and crime by this deranged person possessed by demons, as you have put it, will spur and i think transform the national conversation and i intend to talk about it on the floor of the united states senate perhaps as early as this week. >> congressman, do you think this can be a tipping point?
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>> well, i think the tipping point should have happened a long time ago, frankly, and as i think eager as people are going to be to find some simple solution from a policy standpoint, we have to acknowledge there is no simple solution and, yes, there has to be a conversation about gun control but the way we treat mental illness and the culture of violence in this country that may have contributed to the way in which this disturbed man thought. this is going to be a very complicated process of asking why. we also have to admit it's going to be a very complicated process of hearing what to do from here. we need to talk about it. the time for saying we can't talk about the implications of this tragedy is not over. well, we'll grieve and make sure the families have everything they need, we're going to be on the floor of the senate to talk about what's to go on from here. >> we're all grieving with you today.
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thank you. when we come back, more coverage of the tragedy at sandy hook. how can we make our schools more secure, keep our kids safe? back with more of this special edition of "this week." ♪ [ male announcer ] navigating your future can be daunting without a financial plan. your plan should be built to your specific needs so that it lasts through every stage of your life. ♪ at pacific life, we can give you the tools to help you achieve financial independence. ♪ tools that help you protect your family, supplement your retirement, build your business, and plan your legacy. ♪ for more than 140 years, pacific life has assisted families and businesses in meeting their goals, even in uncertain economic times. ♪
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and we are back at newtown middle school for the special edition of "this week" and joined by our chief justice correspondent pierre thomas and mayor segarra. we want to talk more about the law enforcement aspects of this, and, pierre, four months ago, august, coming out of aurora, you said we would be here again. all too soon. >> didn't mean to be prophetic but these are the facts. in this country we have a love affair with guns. they are sold commercially. in fact, the fbi did background checks on black friday to sunday, the friday after thanksgiving, and there were 154,000 gun checks on that day alone. and, in fact, in november for the month of november, americans
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attempted to buy 2 million guns, so what that means is that people who are heading to the dark side, if you will, have easy access to weapons easy access to weapons and this ia a complicated situation. >> the guns are everywhere. what people will point out is in this case the shooter didn't have to go buy a gun. they were right there in the home. >> we have information that the mom or the family had at least five weapons readily available and assault-style rifles are bought and sold in this country like handguns, and the particular weapon we believe was used in this crime has the capacity, the assault-style rifle of this weapon, typically can fire and also can hold up to 100 or more rounds and can fire those bullets within seconds. >> you've made the point, the volume of the gun sales means the -- we're beyond the point of no return. there are so many guns out there right now in the united states.
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>> to use the cliche, the genie is out of the bottle. 200 million guns plus in circulation. if you stop selling them today they are not biodegradable. they're not going anywhere. you would have to figure out how to remove them from the streets. that would be very difficult. >> you have worked on that in the city of hartford. mayor, you've had some success buying those guns back. >> we did. we had a gun buyback program a couple of weeks ago. we're a small city of 125,000. in less than three hours, almost one weapon per minute was turned in, so there is a desire on behalf of the community to turn these weapons back in, although i don't know how much of those efforts could lead to preventing something similar from happening to what happened in newtown, but there is a need to have some focus on using a systems approach because there are different systems that come in play here in terms of mental health systems, but we have been effective and just also by working through our shooting task force and other programs we've had to try to limit the
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number of shootings, but this is call, a wake-up call in addition to the things happening and if this crisis, this hore fink incident does not send a message that some stronger and immediate action needs to happen in our country, i don't know what will. >> you joined a coalition of mayors who have called for more action. president obama said it's time on friday for meaningful action. what specifically would you like to see? >> first of all, i think that as soon as we get through this process of trying to get our or help our community, have have mayor bloomberg and our conference chair from philadelphia, mayor nutter, come together. i mean we are -- we're the closest. the towns and cities are the closest to having deal with the effects of this violence, so it should be incumbent upon us to solidify ourselves, to be a pore powerful voice, to be more power than we've ever been to come together with a ban on
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assault weapons to make sure we put the pressure on and really meet the challenge of how do you balance -- what we're asking for is some balance. we do recognize our constitutional right to bear arms, but i think that this has gone to a point now to afford some people with the ability of conducting these mass exterminations is just not what -- >> this has struck home for you personally. your father and two friends, the victims of gun violence. >> my father was killed when i was a year old. i never got to meet him. i never got to know what it is to have a father, so this hits very close, and i ended up in connecticut where i lived in the south bronx where my two closest friends were killed as children through guns. i feel strongly about it and emotionally vested, but i recognize it'll have to take a group of very dedicated people to working together because we do need to tap different social systems. i worked as a psychotherapist.
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when you get people that are distraught into a clinical study, it doesn't take very long to find out that there is a problem. the issue becomes how do we reach out in a way that eliminates the potential for these folks to to do this damage by having a wider net. >> mayor segarra and pierre thomas, thanks very much. much more of our special edition of "this week" ahead. our roundtable joins us next.
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these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. and we're going to have to come together and take meaningful angst to prevent
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tragedies like this regardless of the politics. >> it's not right to talk about this yesterday. it should have been a year ago. it should have been two years ago. it should have been three years ago. i'm going to take him at his word that we will try to do something to reduce gun violence in this country, and i'm willing to work with him on what that will be. >> i think we have to be careful about new -- suggesting it's new gun laws. i mean there's -- you know, we need to look at what drives a crazy person to do these kinds of actions and make sure that we're enforcing the laws that are currently on the books. >> and we are back in newtown, connecticut, for our special edition of "this week." i am joined on our roundtable by george will, donna brazile, joe klein of "time" magazine and congressman jason chaffetz and congresswoman donna edwards. into friday and saturday, there is a depressing sameness to the conversation coming out of each
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tragedy. >> yes, and our response is always to think is there some defect in the social system or some prompting in the social atmosphere that causes this and, therefore, we assume we can tailor a law to correct the defect. the problem is, the law can do three things. it can deter with severe punishments. of course, we already have lots of deterrents against murder and impede the accesses to public spaces or to weapons or, third, the law can monitor and in some cases confine people who meet the profile of these people. the problem with this is these people are determined, psychotic and often suicidal. it's very difficult to deter someone like that or impede, and then when you come to the question of monitoring confining, you look at the profile. these are often men, young men, young unmarried men, young men who are socially awkward and sometimes young unmarried socially awkward men have been diagnosed or even prescribed
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some kind of psychotropic medicine. the civil liberties and privacy issues involved in trying to monitor people and this not insignificant cohort who fit that profile are inseparable. >> you laid so much on the table. you are nodding your head to parts of it. >> angry, alienated, disconnected from society at a time when we're talking about budget cuts. two-thirds of states have cut services to mental health agencies. $1,300 is the policy of treating one with mental health disorders. 17,000 is what we end up paying when we have no beds, and medicare cannot fill the gap. gun safety laws in this country are broken, and i would hope members of congress would like at commonsense steps that we can
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take to at least fix the background or at least know when people are buying guns, who they are and if they have a record. >> i want to go to the members in just a moment, but, joe, let me bring it to you. one of the first things you'll hear in this case is that the background check wasn't even tripped because all the guns were in the home. >> right, i mean i think there are things you -- there are things you could do that will limit these incidents, nothing that you can do that will totally eliminate them. the striking piece of news to me today was that the mother was very angry at the school system for not giving her the support she needed to deal with her son. right now all over this country there are parents of young men with severe psychological problems who are scared to death that their kids are going to go and do something like this too, and in many cases after they pass the age of 18, these parents may want the children to be in, you know, in some kind of
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a residential setting, but they don't have the power, the legal power to have anything to do with it. we got rid of mental hospitals in this country 50 years ago, and that was a good thing. they were supposed to be replaced by medication and by residential settings like halfway houses, but nobody wanted to have halfway houses in their neighborhood. so we have abdicated our responsibility to the mentally ill in this country and to the parents of the mentally ill who are suffering right now. >> governor, what is the government's responsibility? >> i wish there was one thing we could do to make sure it never ever happens again and god bless those families dealing with a situation. i can't even imagine but we have to deal with the mental health aspect and i think it's fair game, and we should talk about the intersection of a lethal weapon as it relates to mental health. absolutely we have to have that discussion in this country and also have to deal with the new social ramifications of the
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bombardment and the immediacy of social interaction between violence, the realism you find in games and movies. some people, the young people as they're making this transition from their teen years into adulthood aren't able to mentally make that transition and there does need to be help but we'll also need to look to families and communities and churches. it's not just a government solution. >> based on what you said, there have been some reports, congresswoman edwards, this young man, was he playing a lot of those violent very realistic games? >> you know, i think there are multiple things we have to do here and use this circumstance, the tragedy in newtown to create both policy solutions but also cultural solutions. i think that it -- well, it is true. we have to rebuild or build a fabric for mental health services, especially for young people to give parents the resources that they need and wrap our hands around it that
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this community will need and surviving families and children. but we also -- we've got to get the guns. i mean, we just do. there were assault weapons used here, weapons that are used by military and law enforcement, and it seems to me that there can be a bright line for removing those kinds of weapons. there can be a bright line for background checks that don't just cover 60% of the guns that come through gun shows and individual sales. we regulate cars in that respect knowing who transfers a car more than we know who transfers a weapon. there are real things that we can do, and we have an obligation, and if this doesn't call us to action i don't know what will. >> that's one of the questions we will find an answer too soon, i suppose. but, george, on that, it's kind of striking, you read 24 hours after this
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that a very similar incident happened in china. a man in an elementary school with a knife, not an assault weapon, almost two dozen kids injured but not killed. >> in 1996 a man went into a gym class in scotland, killed 16 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds and the teacher. a few years ago in norway, a young, deranged, young man killed, what, 69 people on an island, mostly teenagers. connecticut has among the toughest gun laws in this country. didn't help. scotland and norway have very tough gun laws, didn't help. >> didn't stop but it does lessen the occasion of violence, doesn't it? >> since columbine there have been 181 of these school shootings. >> remember, we did have a ban on assault weapons. when we put the ban in place these incidents didn't decline in a measurable way. and when we took them off they didn't increase in a measurable way. >> there were five guns in the house. the shooter chose two semiautomatic pistols and one semiautomatic rifle.
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he did not choose the two deer hunting rifles. it seems to me that the congresswoman is absolutely right, there is a bright line here that we should be able to, you know, hunt. you know, hunters should be able to go about their sport, but there's no need to hunt with a semiautomatic rifle. there's none. >> congressman? >> well, look i'm a concealed carry permit gun holder. i have a glock .23. i'm not the person you need to worry about and there are millions who deal with this properly. it's their second amendment right to do so. but we have to look at the mental health access. >> is there such -- any kind of weapon, any capacity -- >> there are prohibitions -- gun rules are very stringent. there is a lot of conjecture out there that i don't think necessarily would solve this particular problem, and i want to look at anything that we think will solve all the problems, but we have to, i
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think, look at the mental health aspect. >> we do have to look at the mental health aspect, but the complex problems require complex solutions, and it isn't one thing. it's all of these things, and some people would like to deflect the conversation only to the mental health problems that are severe and that we need to deal with without dealing with the reality we have, a lot of weapons out there, and people have access to them, and we have to figure out a way that we can protect our children in their kindergarten and first grade classrooms. >> i want to bring this to donna brazile. and as i do this, donna, the politics of all this, generally show -- i want to show this pew support, support for gun control, generally doesn't go up after major shootings, after
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aurora and gabby giffords, it went down, and virginia tech went up a little back in 2007 and the president has been reluctant to take this on and you saw him say it's time for meaningful action. what do you expect and do you think now that the president won't face election again, he will address them in a different way? >> i hope so because there's expectations i think not just from the families but others who would like to see the president take some steps. he's talked about it before after aurora where he said we need tighter restrictions on people who have mental disabilities for having guns and spoke at the national urban league about this, but there's a time for this, and hopefully it's sooner rather than later. you know, i'm a -- as a southerner, i'm a big advocate of the second amendment and grew up with guns and grew up with people who understood how to use them responsibly. i did not grow up with people with assault rifles or semiautomatic guns. i do believe that we had need a conversation, a real
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deep conversation and this simply cannot be stopped simply because people are afraid of the politics. >> you also grew up to be the campaign manager of al gore who lost the home state of tennessee, the myth is at least in part because he supported gun control. this is a political, not a jurisprudential problem. the second part, the hiller case concerning an absurdly restrictive d.c. law is really much more permissive than people realize, and i'm not sure there would be a second amendment impediment to banning a category of weapons. there would be a political one. >> 60,000 murders since columbine. >> and the large capacity of these were used in these weapons that allowed this perpetrator to go into a school and each of the victims suffering multiple gunshot wounds. this is just not acceptable. >> there's a -- you know, i think that we can't think about this in terms of irradication. these incidents are always going to happen.
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>> reduction. >> we can think the mental health piece is obviously important. i think there is a bright line on gun control, as well but there's a third piece and that is the celebration of violence. we not only have a second amendment in the country, we also have a first amendment that protects, you know, sylvester stallone's right to fire thousands of bullets in any given movie, but i think that, you know, that what we need to do in this society is treat people who create violent movies and violent video games with the same degree of respect that we accord pornographers. they need to be shunned. >> i need to add to that. we're getting a lot of response on facebook about how all of us covered this and in the media and the way of these shootings. scott lararche "media sensationalism contributes more to this than guns. it's always the person who pulls the trigger, not the gun that kills. we need to stop making these killers famous.
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>> bill cotton "stop the wall-to-wall coverage. we tried to talk less about the killer but, congressman, this is something, joe brings up and those viewers bring up, as well, how do we talk about this in a way that doesn't encourage the contagion? >> i don't know that the news coverage that i've seen is glamorizing the killer as much as allowing the rest of the country to grieve. as a parent we all shed a tear. i do agree with joe that you put violence and death and gore in a movie, you're not going to get an "r" rating. you do something else, okay. i got to tell you, i think the movie ratings are terribly misleading when it comes to violence, death, gore and glamorizing it. >> all of those things are true because we do have a culture that celebrates violence, but it doesn't take away our responsibility, and i want to
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urge and challenge my colleagues to work with me to work with us on this so no parent has to experience what these parents and families do in newtown. the bright life between those who are hunters and shooters and outdoors people, but they don't need an assault rifle. they don't need high-capacity magazines that create havoc and viciousness and death and we can do that. background checks. we can do that. we can close that up, and then we allow ourselves to have -- to enjoy the second amendment rights that are so important but also we respect human life. >> george, when my little nephews left new orleans after katrina, i'll never forget what they said. "auntie, i don't hear gunshots at night." too many of our kids are living with guns. they are living with the fear of violence. they are dying sometimes in their homes, sometimes walking home from schools and while this tragedy is incomprehensible, you
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got to understand that there are too many of our babies being murdered every day senseless and that's why we need to have this conversation. >> we're having it. >> the question is what to do and what is possible to do. >> well, we ought to bring in mayor rahm emanuel of chicago. chicago is in an epidemic of violence with young, largely unparented, that is, no father in the home, adolescent males. now, that's a problem quite separate from this. another thing that we're going to do and makes one's heart sink, george, is this, we're goint to ratchet up the public places. they're already blighted by this. for generations people have been using the water on the mall to run little sailing boats. now the government in its wisdom has banned remote control little boats on the mall water in washington because it somehow represents a security threat to the country. we have to be a little bit reasonable, and unless we surround our citizenry with the
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quite false idea that this is an extremely dangerous -- >> and on that point, joe klein, people should be reminded. parents should be reminded that the overwhelming majority of schools in this country are safe. >> that's right. although, you know, i had this creepy feeling walking into this school this morning that i wasn't in a place of safety in this town. >> even thought there was no rational -- >> it was a completely irrational thought, and when i say that i think about all the children who are going to be walking into schools tomorrow. >> and that gives us a place we have to stop because we want to talk about that with dr. richard besser when we come back. >> this was not god's plan. >> this was not god's plan. this was a man with serious issues in his life. why he'd want to destroy innocent children, no one can figure out.
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>> we're grieving with you. >> i appreciate it. i'm so tired. it's just brutal. same so tired. it's just brutal. (all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. >> this was not god's plan. it's just brutal. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert.
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this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. and now as the nation mourns those lost here in newtown, we also honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. this week the pentagon released the names of five service members killed in afghanistan. >> and we'll continue with our special edition of "this week" from newtown.
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♪ may they all rest in peace. so hard to see the age of those victims. we're going to talk now more about how this community here can cope back with congresswoman-elect esty, dr. richard besser and father william hamilton for the first responders. let's start with dr. besser.
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this school tomorrow will be closed, but everybody coming back on tuesday. how do the parents and the teachers talk to the kids here and then more generally, parents at home? >> right, you know, talking to kid, it depends so much on their age, their level of development and knowing your own child. very young children who weren't in this community, you want to shield them from this, but in this community, when you talk about rebuilding and moving forward, schools play an absolutely critical role. it allows children to normalize their life. they're getting back into their routine. it also provides a very safe place for children to talk about what they're experiencing, what they're feeling, and teachers and administrators who are well trained, and they're getting training here will be able to identify kids right now, but also going forward, who are not coping well, so they can get this specialized service that will help prevent long-term problems. >> and, congresswoman, what more are you hearing from the people in the community, this is your community, about what they need, what they want right now?
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>> well, they want time to heal and time to grieve. i was -- i'm a mother of three children, and i was a room parent in a first grade classroom, and i just can't imagine the grief they're going through right now, but in meetings yesterday with the wonderful first select woman, also a mother herself, pat llodra, there is a lot of focus on what the doctor was referring to, supporting and keeping these children together, keeping them with their teachers, allowing this community to grieve together. the depth of their grief is a reflection of the depth of the love this community has. it's a very special place, and i think it's important for people to realize that about newtown. >> and but you made this point yesterday, rich, you have to also be careful with these kids that they don't somehow define themselves by this tragedy. >> that's so very important. there are phases, and we're so early in this, but you don't want these children to become tragedy celebrities. you don't want it to be as they grew up what they're known for.
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they need to be known for how they play soccer or how they study in class or what they did for someone in their community. but if you're not careful, this can be the defining thing in their life. >> and, father, so often forgotten, the toll this takes on those who come to save, those who come to help, the first responders, and that is your job to counsel them. >> exactly, the first responders are members of public safety. they do tremendous work for us and yet they're a parent as well, they have children. they're seeing this and most of the time they're responding to criminal activity of people who may be lifelong criminals. now we're dealing with the innocence of a community of its children, of its future. and so as a result, they're responding to people that they know, people that they live in the community with, that they share with. >> i would imagine also that's -- they respond to the innocence but they have to confront those who perpetrate these crimes. >> exactly. >> they must be dealing with so
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much anger. >> it can be, and that's a real emotion, and that's why we want to be around so they can have a safe environment where when that anger builds up, they can express it so it doesn't take over them. the anger cannot be an impetus for how they act but rather a result of what they've seen and what they've had to do. >> congresswoman, what more will you be looking to do in this community over the next several days and weeks? >> well, to be support -- to have all the resources we can bring to bear working with the governor, the local community. there's been an outpouring of support from around the country for trained professionals to help. it needs to be on focused on newtown, and the father is absolutely right. the first responders too are traumatized. you know, they are parents. these are their loved ones, their cherished ones, so i want to make sure we're keeping them as part of this process, and
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when i take office next month, truly there's going to be much more work to be done to make sure their jobs aren't done in vain and do something as a country, respond in a way that acknowledges this is unacceptable, but right now it is the focus on cherishing the family. >> we have only 30 seconds left, rich, on this point of mental health and identifying those who might be susceptible to a problem, what is the single most important thing we can do? >> well, i think access to care. there's so many people who either don't have health insurance or their plans don't cover mental health services or only cover it while they're a child. you need to bridge that so that if you identify someone, there's somewhere you can send them so that they're getting care. >> richard besser, congressman esty, father hamilton, thank you all. thanks for sharing your sunday with us. david muir with have the very latest on newtown tonight on "world news" tonight and i'll see you tomorrow on "good morning america." stee you tomorrow on "good morning america." ee you tomorrow on "good morning america."
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in the news this sunday morning, december 6 -- 16th, federal agents turn their focus to gun stores in the connecticut area. and police shutdown a san francisco store as they search for a suspected it gunman. >> good morning from the east bay. you are waking up to milder temperatures, and a little patchy fog and our next wet weather maker is on the way. i'll time it all out for you coming up next on
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tv
This Week With George Stephanopoulos
ABC December 16, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST

News/Business. Political guests and viewpoints. New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 11, America 6, Connecticut 5, Newtown 4, Obama 4, Alabama 3, Brian Ross 2, Vicki Soto 2, Dan Malloy 2, Dr. Richard Besser 2, Adam Lanza 2, Segarra 2, Pierre Thomas 2, United States 2, Sandy Hook 2, Chicago 2, Louisiana 2, Norway 2, Pacific 2, Mississippi 2
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